As I sat in my bed this morning harboring distinctively bitter thoughts towards my alarm clock, I did the math to figure out when I could sleep in next. The answer was Sunday, blessed Sunday. However, moments later, I realized that this Sunday is Christmas, which means no sleeping in. I was legitimately disappointed. And that, my friends, is when I realized that I am leaving childhood and entering the terrifying state known as adulthood.
I guess I should have seen it coming, they've been prepping me for it for years. Looking back I think I'd say it started in the 5th grade when they advanced us from "wide" to "college ruled." I remember Ms. Kitchen passing out the tightly lined paper, explaining that this year there was more expected of us. This year we were older and wiser, and with those things came responsibility. Never has a blank piece of notebook paper signified so much.
Then you hit Junior high and all of a sudden you're expected to not only remember the subject matter of eight different classes, but also their locations, the teacher's names, your locker combo, and which lunch tables are acceptable. Next thing you know they're telling you that you're grades will affect which colleges will accept you, a concept so distant that it makes your parent's teenage years look recent in comparison.
One by one the responsibilities pile on: driving, working, voting, paying rent, doing laundry, cleaning checks, getting your oil changed, visiting teaching.
Then, out of the blue, the people around you start to talk to you like an adult. The dad at the restaurant tells his little boy to follow the "nice lady" to the table. Excuse me? The lady? Last time I checked I was a twelve-year-old in pigtails, thank you very much. People not only wonder when you're going to graduate, but what you're going to do when it happens. You mean you expect me to know what I want to be when I grow up? Yeah, right, maybe in another decade or two. Then, at BYU at least, people begin to wonder aloud why you haven't settled down yet. Um, excuse me? I don't even know who I am half the time, how do you expect me to make that kind of decision?
Sometimes I have to step back and remember that people are growing up every day all over the world, and that life is still happy after it happens. There are so many exciting things in my future! Soon I'll be able to take just the classes I'm interested in. One day I'll be able to have my own kids, and I'll be able to teach them all the wonderful joys of life. One day I'll look back at these years and remember how afraid I was of my future. I'll laugh at my younger self, thinking that, if I had only known the wonders that were in store, I would have jumped at the opportunity to enter adulthood.
Even still, I will wake early this Christmas morning, trying to enjoy the remnants of childhood as long as I can
In the spirit of growing older/remembering yester years, here are some picture of my parents when they were my age. Younger, actually. Aren't they pretty?